Monday, January 16, 2017

Martin Scorsese's "Silence" Remains Quiet at the Box Office

Andrew Garfield in Silence
Few names will get serious movie fans to the theaters quite like Martin Scorsese. For several decades now, he has produced some of the most acclaimed films in American cinema history. Even controversial efforts like The Wolf of Wall Street still manage to later be revered as classics. So, how did his latest film Silence do? For starters, it is a departure from most of the films that he's ever done both stylistically and literally. Focusing on Jesuit priests in 17th century Japan, the film has been hailed as a perfect culmination of the director's themes. However, movie goers didn't care as much for it and what may be his most personal film is quickly becoming one of his few box office bombs.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

R.I.P. William Peter Blatty (1928-2017)

William Peter Blatty

On January 12, 2017, writer William Peter Blatty died of multiple myeloma at the age of 89 in Bethesda, Maryland. With a long and storied career, he is best known for his bestselling novel "The Exorcist," which followed the journey of a possessed girl. The story would later be turned into a movie by director William Friedkin, which has gone on to be considered one of the scariest movies of all time. While he got his start writing comedy, he is proud to have his legacy for a story that is tied to his own faith and ended up influencing literature, cinema, and TV for decades to come. He leaves behind an impressive body of work that transcends time and will likely be scaring people for the rest of time.

Review: "Silence" is a Powerful Yet Challenging Look at Faith

Scene from Silence
In a recent interview, director Martin Scorsese claimed that he doesn't see new movies because "The images don't mean anything." This statement has likely been said by many elder statesman of the arts, but few have the continuing reputation of the 74-year-old acclaimed filmmaker whose work continues to be provocative and inspiring. In his latest Silence, he takes a passion project that he's been working on for 28 years and turns to story of Portuguese Jesuit priests in 17th century Japan into one of his most personal, wrenching, and challenging films to date. It may isolate those expecting films like The Aviator or more recently with The Wolf of Wall Street; but for those willing to give Scorsese's most artful film to date a chance, it may end up being one of the most rewarding, frustrating masterworks he's ever created where almost every frame is rich with detail and meaning that makes Scorsese's disinterest in modern cinema not a moment of delusion, but a call for everyone to try harder.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Oscars to Try New Approach to Announcing Nominees

Cheryl Boone Isaacs
It was a year ago today that the 2016 Academy Award nominations were announced. While this year is running a little bit behind schedule (we still have 10 days to go), there's still plenty to look forward to when Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs and a selected group introduce each of the categories that will define conversation for the upcoming weeks. While Oscar fans likely know what to expect, there's going to be one twist this year. It won't exactly be live, nor presented in the format that we've come to expect. That's right, things are going to be a little bit different, and they won't be presented live before a press audience. They will be presented digitally.